Zynga Quietly Buys Solitaire Games From A Little-Known Developer

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Zynga recently (and quietly) bought four solitaire games for nearly $42.5 million in an all-cash deal from the relatively less-popular developer Harpan LLC. The deal (first noticed by Seeking Alpha) closed on February 14.

Zynga acquires Solitaire mobile game apps

This was Zynga’s first acquisition in 2017. Last week, the gaming company announced the release of the McLaren 720S in CSR Racing 2 (CSR2). This mobile racing game was developed by  Zynga’s U.K.-based studio, NaturalMotion. This is the first time a supercar was added to the CSR2 vehicle lineup, the same week the car was released worldwide.

The acquisition of the four solitaire games was declared quietly in the game maker’s FY16 10-K filing.

In a statement, the gaming company said, “On February 14, we purchased Solitaire mobile game applications from Harpan LLC for approximately $42.5 million in cash. As the initial accounting for the business combination is incomplete as of the date of this filing, we will record the preliminary purchase price allocation in the first quarter of 2017.”

Harpan’s best-performing title has been Solitaire by Harpan. On the overall download charts, the game currently sits in 51st place, whereas on the U.S. iOS download charts, it once held sixth place, notes Pocket Gamer. In July 2015, the game was in 25th place on the Google Play charts.

Little is known about Harpan

There is not much information about Harpan LLC. The company’s Facebook page has not been updated for about two years and has only 1,109 likes. The last update – which was the profile image – was done on February 3, 2015, and before that, the page admin updated their status on Christmas Day, 2014 with a picture of a tree and a link to download their Solitaire app for free.

Harpan’s Twitter page has not been updated since March 2014 and has only 123 followers, and it is quite disappointing to see that its website, www.harpanapps.com, does not even load. Another interesting thing that Seeking Alpha found about the company is that it seems to be a one-man company operated by co-founder and chief executive officer Tim Oswald.

As of December 31, 2016, Zynga had nearly $852 million in cash and equivalents available; hence, this purchase of four games does appear to be a large investment. But considering that Harpan is a little-known mobile game developer with four Solitaire card games, the amount spent does need some explanation.

At 10:46 a.m. Eastern, Zynga shares were trading at around $2.81.

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